Roxy Music, Back In The Background - Tue 30th Nov

Roxy Music, Back In the Groove
20 July 2001

Review from Washington Post Monday, July 23, 2001;
(I wonder if the author actually attended as it mentions Virginia Plain being played, and it definitely was not!)

At 55, Bryan Ferry still looks damn good. Pounding the keyboards to "Re-make/Re-model" at the outset of Roxy Music's reunion show at Merriweather Post Pavilion Friday night, Ferry was elegant in a shimmery black suit, and his voice -- crushed velvet sprinkled with tawdry sauce -- has aged equally well. With four-fifths of the band's seminal 1972 lineup on board (Brian Eno being far too important to participate), the show was an evenly balanced career overview that, while spending a little too much time on the group's somnolent years, was nonetheless rollicking fun.

Ferry and guitarist Phil Manzanera, sax man Andy Mackay and muscular drummer Paul Thompson were joined by support musicians and the requisite clutch of lithe Roxy women, who writhed at appropriate moments. The band hadn't appeared in the United States since 1983, but the set's highlights were songs that were even older -- selections from Roxy's first five records, including "Ladytron," "Out of the Blue" and "Both Ends Burning." Despite lively playing (especially from Thompson and Manzanera), songs from the forgettable "Flesh and Blood" and "Manifesto" albums nearly derailed the nostalgic party.

Any doubt as to the tour's worth was erased with a four-song run that closed the main set and began the encore: "Editions of You," "Virginia Plain," "Love Is the Drug" and "Do the Strand" all crackled, oozing the mix of romantic soul and scrappy rock that earned Roxy Music its distinctive place in the collective consciousness of discerning music fans. Despite the smallish crowd (the lawn was nearly deserted), the roar was imposing, and Ferry's smile of recognition genuine -- which should have been enough to carry the band's fans at least another 18 years.

Previous Article | Next Article